Updated: July 2, 2023

Lambs ear plant, scientifically known as Stachys byzantina, is a popular choice among gardeners due to its soft, fuzzy leaves and low-maintenance nature. This perennial plant is native to the Middle East and has made its way into gardens around the world. If you’re considering adding lambs ear to your garden, here are some tips on how to care for this beautiful plant.

Planting Lambs Ear

Before planting lambs ear, it’s important to consider the location and soil conditions. This plant thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun, although it can tolerate some shade. When choosing a spot in your garden, make sure it receives at least six hours of sunlight each day.

To prepare the soil, loosen it with a garden fork or tiller to improve drainage. Adding organic matter such as compost or peat moss can also help improve the soil structure. Once the soil is prepared, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant.

Gently remove the lambs ear plant from its container and place it in the hole, making sure that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil and lightly firm it around the base of the plant. Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil.

Watering Lambs Ear

Lambs ear plants have moderate water needs and are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s important to strike a balance when watering.

During dry spells or in hot climates, water lambs ear deeply once or twice a week. The goal is to provide enough moisture so that the soil is evenly moist without becoming waterlogged. To determine if your plant needs water, check the soil moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.

In cooler or rainy weather, you can reduce the frequency of watering. Always water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the leaves, as this can promote disease.

Fertilizing Lambs Ear

Lambs ear plants are not heavy feeders and generally do well without regular fertilization. However, applying a balanced fertilizer in early spring can help promote healthy growth and increase flower production.

Choose a slow-release fertilizer and follow the package instructions for application rates. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to leggy growth and a decrease in overall plant health.

Pruning Lambs Ear

Pruning lambs ear is an important part of caring for this plant. Regular pruning helps maintain its shape and prevents it from becoming overly woody or sprawling. It also encourages new growth and can help prevent disease by allowing better airflow around the plant.

In early spring, remove any dead or damaged leaves by cutting them back to the base of the plant. This will stimulate new growth and give your lambs ear a fresh appearance. Additionally, you can prune back the entire plant by about one-third to encourage compact growth.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Lambs ear is generally resistant to most pests and diseases. However, like any plant, it can still be susceptible to certain issues.

One common problem is powdery mildew, which appears as a white powdery coating on the leaves. To prevent powdery mildew, avoid overhead watering and provide adequate spacing between plants for good airflow. If you notice signs of powdery mildew, remove affected leaves and treat with a fungicide if necessary.

Another potential pest is slugs and snails, which may feed on the leaves of lambs ear. To control these pests, create barriers such as copper tape around the plants or use organic slug pellets.

Propagating Lambs Ear

If you want to expand your lambs ear collection or share it with friends, you can easily propagate this plant through division.

In early spring or fall, carefully dig up the plant and separate the clumps into smaller sections. Each section should have a healthy root system and several shoots. Replant these divisions in well-prepared soil, making sure to water thoroughly after planting.

Alternatively, you can also propagate lambs ear from stem cuttings. Take cuttings that are around six inches long from the tips of healthy stems. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone before planting in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the cuttings moist and in a warm location until they develop roots.


Caring for lambs ear plants is relatively easy, making them a great addition to any garden. By providing proper planting conditions, watering appropriately, regular pruning, and controlling pests and diseases, you can enjoy the soft texture and beauty of this perennial plant for years to come. So why not bring some lambs ear into your garden and enjoy its unique appeal?